Biafra: Human Rights Group Says Nnamdi Kanu Should Be In Prison Custody, Not In DSS Captivity

A human rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and the rule of Law, Intersociety has said that the detained leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, should rather be kept in prison custody, than to remain in the captivity of the Department of State Services (DSS).

The group described the period Kanu stayed in the DSS captivity as wasteful, tortuous and depravity.

Meanwhile, in a press statement issued on Thursday in Onitsha, Anambra state, entitled: “Violent Suppression Of Nonviolent Protests In Nigeria: Buhari Must Heed EU’s Advice”, the society decried what it termed as murder of 50 in violent suppression of non-violent Biafran protesters by Nigeria’s security forces between August 30, 2015 and January 18, 2016.

According to them, the murdered victims included four citizens killed in Awka and Onitsha on August 30, 2015; 13 killed in Onitsha on December 2, 2015; 12 killed in Onitsha on December 17, 2015 (eight were killed on the spot and four others died in hospital following gunshot wounds); and eight killed in Aba on January 18, 2016.

The group said,” the documented statistics available at its disposal clearly indicated that such a massive application of state violence outside local and international norms to violently suppress the pro-Biafran non-violent protests in Nigeria within the afore-mentioned period of less than five months, had led to the gruesome murder by security forces of such a number of Nigerian citizens and Biafran citizens in particular. “

On why Buhari Must Heed the European Union (EU’s) advice, the group said, “Consequently, the latest advice handed down to the Government of Muhammadu Buhari by the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Ms Federica Mogherini, is a welcome development, timely and internationally grounded.

“The EU High Representative had advised Buhari that in as much as, the European Union has strong diplomatic and economic ties with Nigeria, “protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms remains a priority for the EU and we encourage the authorities (Nigeria) in every occasion to respect such rights”.

‘The EU, on the other hand, advised pro Biafran campaigners and the Organization of Emerging African States (OEAS) “that self-determination and border changes must be in accordance with established international law. This followed the OEAS call for an internationally recognized referendum on Biafra independence or autonomy.

“The EU further advised that “it will only recognize a Biafra born via international law and not (through) armed secession (or rebellion)”.

“The EU’s advice is totally in agreement with our public position on the same issue, to the effect that the Buhari administration must refrain from massive deployment of State violence and use of dark side of the laws of the land as well as levying of political, economic, social, ethnic and cultural wars against members of the Nigeria’s Igbo and other Southern nationalities. We had also advised the pro Biafran agitators to at all time stick to nonviolent and peaceful approaches and stay away from resorting to violence or armed rebellion. To the best of our knowledge, the agitations and their campaigners have remained nonviolent till date; as opposed to the Buhari administration which had applied and still apply maximum and dreaded State terror in handling the political self-determination campaigns”.

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